By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Ron Klawitter knows a thing or two about CPR. He was down in his home, non-responsive and eyes fixed.
His wife, who teaches CPR, was home. Klawitter was in sudden cardiac arrest.
"I was dead. Basically I was gone," Klawitter said Monday on "First Look with Scott Cox."
He was on the simulcast to help promote Sidewalk CPR Day, taking place at several locations Tuesday to teach anyone and everyone the basics of hands-only CPR.
Klawitter's son, Dylan, remembers the call from his mother while he was at work 30 minutes away in McFarland: "Dad's gone down and it doesn't look good."
Ron Klawitter, who also was one of Hall Ambulance's first employees decades ago, said the 911 operators are highly skilled, and he still has the tape of the call his wife made and listens to it.
It's why he's so pro-CPR, he said, urging people that no matter who they are, they should try to help and not feel scared.
"Just get in there and do the best you can," Ron Klawitter said.
He promoted the free training session in hands-only CPR taking place from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at 22nd and L streets, across from KGET Channel 17.
Scott Allen, public information officer for Hall Ambulance, said all you have to do is stop your car and say "I want to save a life," and "we'll show you."
It will take five minutes: "That's all the time you need to learn how to save someone's life," Allen said.
CPR is changing, Allen said. People need to recognize there is a problem, call for help and use simple chest compressions.
"If we can get people to just do something, the chances for survival are much higher," Allen said.
Michael Smith, a registered nurse at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, said there are about 360,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests nationally each year. Eighty percent happen in homes. And 70 percent of people are fearful of trying to help. The 5-minute training will enhance what you can do, Smith said.
Other Sidewalk CPR Day events include:
* The Bakersfield Fire Department and San Joaquin Community Hospital will teach hands-only CPR from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave.
* Santa Barbara Business College will teach it from 10 a.m. to noon at its Bakersfield campus, 5300 California Ave. in conjunction with the American Heart Association and Kern County Emergency Medical Services. A news release said Kris Kohls, drummer for Adema, is slated to attend.